There are lesbians, there are bisexual women – and then there are those famous women who love women who strike a path for everyone else.
Women who, through their incredible actions, show what’s possible.
Here are the best and brightest.
DeLaria, who plays prison stud Big Boo on Orange is the New Black, received the Equality Illinois Freedom Award in 2015 for her work as “a cutting-edge performer who has used her talent to entertain and enlighten millions of Americans”.
When she received the award, Lea said: “As an out performer for over 33 years who has made it her life’s work to change people’s perception of butch, queer and LGBT, it is an honour for me to receive such recognition from my home state.”
She was previously engaged to fashion editor Chelsea Fairless, though Lea confirmed that the pair had split earlier this year.
Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon started dating activist Christine Marinoni in 2004, before the pair got married in 2012.
Discussing her sexuality in 2007, Cynthia said: “I don’t really feel I’ve changed.
“I’d been with men all my life, and I’d never fallen in love with a woman.
“But when I did, it didn’t seem so strange. I’m just a woman in love with another woman.”
American actress, singer and comedian Jane Lynch was named one of Power Up’s ‘10 Amazing Gay Women in Showbiz’ back in 2005.
She was married to clinical psychologist Lara Embry between 2010 and 2014.
Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon is the show’s first openly lesbian cast member, and she has a pet cat called Nino Positano, who she refers to as her son. Enough said.
No, but seriously, she opened up about her sexuality during an interview with Julie Goldman, where she explained: “I figured it out by watching the X-Files and noticing my physiological reaction to it.
“I thought it was a product of David Duchovny’s face, but it was Gillian Anderson, who still is the queen of my heart.
So I knew then. I told some of my friends; eventually I told my mother.
“She found me crying and said, ‘What’s wrong?’ And I said, ‘I think I’m gay’, and she said, ‘Fine. Love it. Whatever you want to be.’”
Actress Lily Tomlin opened up about her sexuality in 2008, saying: “Everybody in the industry was certainly aware of my sexuality and of Jane [Wagner]… in interviews, I always reference Jane and talk about Jane, but they don’t always write about it.”
Lily and Jane tied the knot in 2013 after 42 years together.
Also from Orange is the New Black is model, DJ and actress Ruby Rose, who came out as a lesbian when she was just 12 years old.
She announced her engagement to designer Phoebe Dahl in 2014, but the pair split in 2015.
She has since been dating Jessica Origliasso from pop duo The Veronicas.
American Horror Story’s Sarah Paulson, who has described her sexuality as “fluid”, dated actress Cherry Jones between 2004 and 2009, before confirming that she was in a relationship with actress Holland Taylor in 2016.
She openly identifies as bisexual, and model and actress Cara Delevingne has most recently been linked to Michelle Rodriguez and musician Annie Clark (St. Vincent) – who, incidentally, has also been linked to Kristen Stewart.
Yep, another one – Orange is the New Black star Samira Wiley, who played Poussey Washington, is married to one of the show’s writers, Lauren Morelli.
Morelli, who was married to a man when she first met Wiley, said she felt a “magnetic” spark between the two.
“I had a few queer women around me, but not many I could talk to about such a huge, vulnerable thing.
“Samira became my outlet, and through that process I fell in love with her. Being with her felt too good to be true.”
Rosie O’Donnell first came out in 2002 at an Ovarian Cancer Research benefit, where she announced: “I’m a dyke” during her stand-up routine.
“I don’t know why people make such a big deal about the gay thing.” Same, Rosie, same.
Portia De Rossi
Although Portia De Rossi was involved with director Francesca Gregorini between 2000 and 2004, she didn’t publicly come out until 2015 when she was dating her now-wife Ellen DeGeneres. She told The Advocate. “I’ve had my years of being not open, many years of it… It’s an honor for me to do this; it’s just nice to be asked.”
Despite her involvement with Alicia Cargile, singer Annie Clark (St. Vincent), and model Stella Maxwell, Twilight actress Kristen Stewart didn’t directly address her sexuality until earlier this year when, while hosting Saturday Night Live, she publicly referred to herself as “so gay” for the first time.
Juno actress Ellen Page came out as a lesbian in 2014 during a powerful speech at the Human Rights Campaign’s Time to Thrive conference benefiting LGBT youth.
“I’m here today because I am gay, and because maybe I can make a difference, to help others have an easier and more hopeful time,” Page told the audience. “Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility.
“I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission,” Page continued.
“I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered and my relationships suffered.
“And I’m standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of all that pain.”
Jodie Foster finally put an end to media speculation about her sexuality at the 2013 Golden Globes. “I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago, back in the Stone Age,” she said in her speech.
“In those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends, and family, coworkers and then gradually, proudly, to everyone who knew her.”
It’s Ellen DeGeneres’ 20th anniversary of her coming out this year, as back in 1997 she was featured on a TIME magazine cover with the words: “Yep, I’m gay.”
Shortly after, her sitcom character, Ellen Morgan, also came out – and became one of TV’s first openly gay main characters.